29 March 1996

No change in anti-beef line

NFUs proposal for a disposal policy has failed to bring a change in the Consumer Associations advice to consumers to avoid beef and beef products.

It said last week that those "consumers who want to avoid the risk of BSE have no choice but to cut out beef and beef products from their diet – and that the risk can be reduced by only eating muscle meat".

Commenting on the NFU proposal spokesman Steve Harris said on Wednesday "anything that assists in removing the risks from the food chain would be welcome".

"However, we dont believe that something that could be perceived as a gesture would reassure consumers."

Mr Harris questioned why the NFU had drawn the line at older cows. " Does that solve the problem? The scientists that we have seen and heard would suggest not," he added.

And "unfortunately the government has chosen to listen to some groups of scientists while others are saying different things. That from the consumers point of view is a problem," he said.